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US charges 13 Russians with 2016 US election tampering to boost Trump

A Russian Internet agency oversaw a criminal and espionage conspiracy to tamper in the 2016 US presidential campaign to support Donald Trump and disparage Hillary Clinton, said an indictment released on Friday that revealed more details than previously known about Moscow's purported effort to interfere.

The office of US Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies. The court document said those accused "had a strategic goal to sow discord in the US political system, including the 2016 US presidential election."

The indictment said Russians adopted false online personas to push divisive messages; travelled to the United States to collect intelligence; and staged political rallies while posing as Americans.

In one case, it said, the Russians paid an unidentified person to build a cage aboard a flatbed truck and another to wear a costume "portraying Clinton in a prison uniform."


Second woman alleges Trump affair and cover-up

A second woman has made allegations of an affair with US President Donald Trump, describing complex legal and financial agreements in an alleged bid to cover it up.

Former Playboy model Karen McDougal claims that she and Trump had a sexual relationship in 2006, months after first lady Melania Trump gave birth to the President's youngest son.

The White House did not immediately reply to a request for comment, but in a statement to NBC a spokesman said the President had previously denied having a relationship with McDougal, calling the claims "fake news."


FBI admits mishandling January tip about accused Florida gunman

The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Friday said it failed to act on a tip that the teenager accused of killing 17 people in Florida had guns and the desire to kill, drawing calls from Florida's Republican governor for the FBI director to resign.

A person close to accused gunman Nikolas Cruz called an FBI tip line on Jan 5 to report concerns about him, the FBI said in a statement.

"The caller provided information about Cruz's gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behaviour, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting," it said.


Facebook must stop tracking Belgian web users, court rules

Facebook must stop tracking Belgian users' surfing outside the social network and delete data it's already gathered, or it will face fines of €250,000 (S$400,000) a day, a Belgian court ruled.

Facebook "doesn't sufficiently inform" clients about the data it gathers on their broader web use, nor does it explain what it does with the information or say how long it stores it, the Brussels Court of First Instance said in a statement.

Facebook uses cookies, social plug-ins - the "like" or "share" buttons - and pixels that are invisible to the naked eye to collect data on people's behaviour during their visits to other sites, the court statement said.


Tennis: Ageless Federer rides his time machine back to the top

They know a thing or two about time in Switzerland - their cuckoo clocks, expensive wristwatches and unerring railway timetables are proof of that. Yet it is the Alpine nation's favourite son, Roger Federer, who has apparently mastered the art of reversing it.

The Peter Pan of men's tennis took his time machine to Rotterdam this week and on Friday posted a 4-6 6-1 6-1 victory over Dutchman Robin Haase to reach the semi-finals of the ABN AMRO tournament.

In doing so, he is guaranteed a return to number one in the ATP world rankings for the first time since November 2012.


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